Self Tanning 101: How to Tan Like A Bronze Goddess
Summer’s almost here, and on our casual days we’ll be trading in pants and slacks (slacks, heh, love that word) for cute shorts and pretty skirts. Have you considered taking that extra step and slapping a faux glow on those lovely stems of yours? You definitely should! Not only will you look healthier and more fit (bonus!) with a faux glow, a little color will help to hide imperfections like spider and varicose veins. Trust me, I know--because I’m an avid user of the stuff.
Feel a bit intimidated by the idea of self tanning? Don’t be. Formulas have improved tremendously over the years (QT, anyone?) and are easier to use than ever. Even the scent of the formulas have changed for the better! Here are a few easy-peasy steps to take to help get your glow on.
Tip/Trick: Your tan too deep? Apply baby oil for ten minutes, then exfoliate with a damp wash cloth before rinsing off. It should help to fade the color.
Make sure to color just what you want to cover, there's no need to go wongo with the product. For example, nobody sees my belly, back or butt like, ever, so I don’t bother self-tanning those areas. I generally stick to my legs, arms, shoulders, chest and face.
Tarte Brazilliance PLUS + Self-Tanner with Mitt, $39
Saint Tropez Classic Self Tan Starter Kit, $25
St. Moritz Advanced Pro Exfoliating Skin Primer, $13
Fake Bake Platinum Face Tanner with Apple Stem Cell Anti-Aging, $31
Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun (Deep Bronze), $11.99
Nivea Sun Kissed Radiance Gradual Tanner & Body Lotion, $6.99
My best suggestion when it comes to actual product is to use a mousse or foam formulation with color. Mousses and foams tend to go on easily and dry quickly, which is primo when it comes to fake baking. And using a formulation with color helps to see just where and how the color being applied. Use upward, circular motions when applying, and make sure the entire area is completely covered in self tanner. Don’t be scared to go back and rebuff if you miss a spot or think an area is too patchy. Remember, this is temporary color--anything you apply--wrong or right--will fade within a few days.
If you want to self tan your face (I do), use a formulation specific for that area. The pH on your face is higher and your tan may develop darker. Formulations made specifically for the face will have less DHA (the active ingredient in self-tanners) than body formulations. Apply much like you would a body formulation, using upward, circular motions.
Tip/Trick: No facial tanner? Here’s what I do: Dilute your body formula with facial moisturizer and apply!
Wait until your self tanner is completely dry before getting dressed, because as I mentioned, it could stain your clothes. I generally apply my color after a shower and before bed, so that I can putter around my bedroom ½ naked while drying. Once dry, I’ll put on a pair of old or dark colored pajamas and let the color develop while I'm asleep.
As you can see, self tanning is relatively easy to do with a fantastic payoff, and it doesn't take hours at the beach risking skin cancer, either. Just follow these easy steps and you'll get glowing in no time!